DANIEL BECOMES A GREAT MAN IN BABYLON

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[Daniel:2:1-49].

Lesson No.: 
138
Class: 
Elementary
Memory Verse: 

“Hold fast that which is good” (I Thessalonians 5:21).

Notes: 

A Strange Request
When young Daniel and his three friends had been living in Babylon for some time, King Nebuchadnezzar had a very strange dream. When he awoke he was greatly troubled. He could not go to sleep again. Perhaps he kept thinking: What was that dream I had? It must have some special meaning. In the morning I will ask my wise men about it.

Perhaps a servant was sent out to tell the wise men and magicians that the king wanted to see them. When they were together, the king told them he had had a dream that troubled him and he wanted to know what it meant. The wise men asked the king to tell them the dream and then they would tell him the meaning of it. King Nebuchadnezzar could not tell them the dream, because he had forgotten it. He was used to having people do what he told them to do, even though it was unreasonable, and he became cross and impatient, and said if they would not tell him the dream and the meaning, too, they would be cut in pieces.

No doubt the wise men were very much surprised and afraid. How could anyone do such a thing as tell what someone else had dreamed and forgotten? Only God could do that, and they did not love and serve God. They could not tell the king his dream even though they were to be cut in pieces.

The King’s Command
The king was very angry and commanded his captain to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. We can imagine that we see the king’s captain and his helpers going first to this house and then to that one, taking the poor frightened wise men with them to be destroyed. Daniel and his friends did not know what had happened. Perhaps they were on an errand out of town when the other wise men were called to come to the king. When the captain came to take them, Daniel asked why they were to be destroyed. So the captain told him that the king had had a dream, and that he had forgotten it; and because the wise men could not tell him what the dream was, he was angry and was going to have them destroyed.

Daniel Prays
Daniel knew that God could tell him what Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was, for God knew everything – even secret things. Daniel wanted time to pray, so he told the king that if he would wait a little while, Daniel would tell him what the dream was and what it meant. Daniel went home and told his friends all about it. They may have been afraid, but God had helped them before and surely He would help them now. Perhaps they remembered what King David had said to God, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”

After they had prayed, they very likely went to bed and slept, and in the night God showed Daniel the dream and the meaning. First of all, Daniel wanted to thank God for answering their prayers. We are sure that Daniel always thanked God for the many times He had taken care of Daniel and had helped him when he asked God for help. How happy Daniel must have been that he could go to the king and tell him his dream! Perhaps Daniel did not take time to eat breakfast the next morning, but hurried away to tell the king’s captain not to destroy the wise men, because Daniel could tell the king the dream. The captain took Daniel in to see the king at once.

The Dream
The king asked Daniel if he could make known the dream and the meaning. It would have been easy for Daniel to let the king think that he was wise enough to tell the dream, but Daniel was not that kind of boy. Daniel said that neither he nor the wise men could do that, but the great God in Heaven had told him what the king’s dream was. Daniel wanted the king to love and worship God. Then Daniel told the king that in his dream he had seen a great image that was very bright. The head was of gold; the breast and arms were of silver; the waist was of brass; the legs were of iron; and the feet were part iron and part clay.

In the dream the king saw a stone roll toward this great image and break its feet. The whole image fell to the ground into pieces, and the wind blew them away. The stone that broke the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. That great stone was no doubt Jesus, the Word of God, that would be everywhere in the earth.

Daniel said that God had made King Nebuchadnezzar very strong and a ruler over many people, and he was like the golden head of the image. He said there would be other kings who were not so strong. But God would send Jesus to be King, and He would be so strong that no one could ever do such great things as He could do, and His power and goodness and greatness would last forever.

Rewards
Then King Nebuchadnezzar knew that the God whom Daniel worshiped was the true God. The king made Daniel a great man; gave him many rich gifts, and made him leader of all the wise men in Babylon. He also honoured and set up Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.

Questions: 

1. What did King Nebuchadnezzar want to know? [Daniel:2:3].
2. What was going to happen because the wise men could not tell the king his dream? [Daniel:2:5].
3. What did Daniel and his friends do when they heard they were to be destroyed? [Daniel:2:18].
4. How did God help them so that all the wise men could live? [Daniel:2:19].
5. Give the names of the four young men who were honoured because they prayed to God for help. [Daniel:2:48];[Daniel:2:49].